SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Two local residents who are concerned about missing Rowan County teenager Erica Parsons have called in a man from Illinois who is known for searching for missing persons.
Shannon Moss and Wanda Rogers decided to take the unusual step of contacting K-9 Specialties after reading about the success the owner and his dogs had in finding missing children.
"We don't want people to forget she's still missing, she's not been found, we've got to find her, whatever we got to do we've got to come together in Rowan County and find her," Rogers said. "People ask me why am I doing this why I haven't gave up, it's because she needs to be found, she…it's personal now, I didn't know her, but I do now, so it's personal. She's got to be found. She is a human being and my biggest thing if they, if something really bad happened to her, she's been throwed away like a piece of trash and she's not a piece of trash, she is a little girl, she deserves to be found, and I'm not giving up."
"We just want her found, if possible," Moss added.
Robert T. Larson has been using his K-9 to search several areas over the weekend after he was contacted to come to Rowan County. He came to Rowan County on Thursday and organized several searches.
"These people have come together and put every ounce of energy they have into this weekend to try to find Erica, if I was going to work with anybody it would be these people," Larson said. "If we can get into an area where we think she is, if she's in that area I can give you a 95% chance that my dogs are going to locate there."
Larson's searches are private in nature and are not part of any effort by law enforcement. Larson, Moss, and Rogers did notify local investigators that they would be conducting the searches and said that no one objected to the effort.
Rogers, Moss, and others are privately donating the funds Larson needs.
No one has seen Erica Parsons since 2011, yet she was only reported as missing to law enforcement in July of 2013 by her adopted brother.
Larson runs a company called K-9 Specialties. An article from a Chicago television news station in 2013 describes how Larson found the body of a missing toddler after he "took it upon himself to become a one man search team."
Larson does not have the same certification that many in law enforcement have who work with dogs, but he says that the dogs are trained and that "if it works and we find people, isn't that what counts?"
Nothing was found during several searches over the Labor Day weekend, but Larson says he is not finished. Larson and his volunteers declined to say which specific areas of the county were searched.
Erica's adoptive parents, Sandy and Casey Parsons, are serving eight and ten years respectively in federal prison for fraud for continuing to take federal adoption assistance money meant for Erica long after Erica was gone from their Salisbury home.
No one has been charged in connection with the disappearance of Erica Parsons. During the fraud trail for Sandy and Casey Parsons a federal prosecutor said that he believed Erica Parsons was dead.
"We don't just look for a dead Erica, we look for an alive Erica too, we're not giving up, we check everything we can," Rogers added.
A $50,000 reward is still being offered for information about the disappearance and whereabouts of Erica Parsons. Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI or Rowan Sheriff's Office at 704-216-8700.